DISCLAIMER: This recap of the season finale of A League of Their Own, “Perfect Game,” has spoilers. Remember, there’s no crying in baseball. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome, Rockford Peaches! We’ve reached the end of our sporty journey with episode eight, “Perfect Game.” It’s an outing bursting at the seams with empowerment, joy, action, humor, heartache and poignancy. Carson and Max take significant steps toward happiness while carving out their respective paths regardless of outside understanding. Life’s short — do what you love with who you love. 

Ready to delve into “Perfect Game”? Let’s get to it. 

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Carson Tries to Hear Herself

We open with Carson (Abbi Jacobson) staring into space while replaying fragments of incendiary dialogue in her head, from Shirley’s claim that she knows Carson’s secret to Charlie believing she’ll leave as her mother did. Beverly (Dale Dickey) suggests Carson rally the ladies together for a motivational team meeting. We see everyone departing a bus.

Charlie (Patrick J. Adams) tries to comfort his wife, while Carson reminds him they’ve already lost the first two games. If they lose game number three, they’re outta here. That’s strike three (Get it?).

Next, we see Carson deliver a speech while Greta (D’Arcy Carden), Shirley (Kate Berlant), Maybelle (Molly Ephraim), Lupe (Roberta Colindrez), Jess (Kelly McCormack), Esti (Priscilla Delgado) and the rest of the team listen. Charlie stands on the sidelines, inexplicably. 

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After an awkward speech from Carson, Greta pulls her aside for a chat. Greta criticizes Carson for doling out pearls of “Charlie wisdom” amid her speech and for him essentially smothering the team. She urges Carson to “find a way to show up.” Greta lost too much to give up before they could potentially win it all.

So, Carson asks Charlie to go home. No, not to his hotel room. Back to Idaho. She tells him she’ll see him in one week.

Maybelle Fox stands in a room while smiling and wearing a purple dress on A League of Their Own Season 1 Episode 8 "Perfect Game."

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — Molly Ephraim as Maybelle Fox — Season 1 Episode 8, “Perfect Game.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Roommate Auditions

Later, Max (Chanté Adams) and Clance (Gbemisola Ikumelo) hold roommate auditions for the latter since Max will be touring with Red Wright’s All-Stars. So far, Clance seems unimpressed with the prospective candidates. Then, Max and Clance learn Max is in The Chicago Defender for her pitching prowess the other day, a.k.a. the moment that got her on the road with the All-Stars. 

Next, Max and Clance unite with Gracie (Patrice Covington) at the factory to freak out over Max’s rising star as a baseball-playing extraordinaire. The Rockford Screws coach, you know, the one who denied Max a place on the team, compliments her throwing skills from that game. He offers Max a spot on the Screws — well, a chance to pitch for a few practices and then go from there. 

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Thankfully, Max tells Carson during one of their night practices that she declined his offer. That’s my girl! Carson reveals her mind is sharp again, while Max gushes about snagging her dream job and dream lady. She deserves it all. 

“I’m one of them.”

Before a practice, Carson doles out a much better motivating speech than the previous one. Afterward, she pulls Shirley aside for a chat. She finally admits that she’s “one of them,” and even if she doesn’t understand what that means for her life, at least she’s living it. I love that Max and Carson have these wonderfully empowering moments in this episode. 

Then, Max drags Clance along for dinner with her parents, even though Clance claims she has plans in an air raid bunker somewhere. Awkward family dinners are awkward. On another note, Max encourages Clance to send one of her comics to The Chicago Defender. Here’s hoping she does just that. 

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Meanwhile, the Peaches square off against the Blue Sox, and we see Jo (Melanie Field) among their ranks. After the game, which leaves the Peaches up 2-2 in the series, Greta signs autographs for a bevy of young girls. Vivienne (Nancy Lenehan) approaches Greta with a job offer. It’s off-season in New York, and Vivienne wholeheartedly believes Greta will go far in her office. Get it!

Beverly stands in front of a bus outside while smiling on A League of Their Own Season 1 Episode 8 "Perfect Game."

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — Dale Dickey as Beverly — Season 1 Episode 8, “Perfect Game.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

“From nothing to nothing.”

Next, Max and Clance arrive for dinner with Edgar (Alex Désert) and Toni (Saidah Arrika Ekulona). Whenever Max brings up her baseball triumphs amid dinner conversation, Toni changes the subject. When Max confronts her mom in the kitchen, Toni hands her daughter a stack of letters, correspondence between Toni’s mother and grandfather as they trekked from Florida to Rockford. “From nothing to nothing,” Toni points out. 

Toni emphatically explains to Max that women without men are left unprotected, especially women of color. She knew Max would never marry, so she wanted to give Max some security, a.k.a. the salon. Max thanks her mother for everything and departs without taking the letters with her. This conversation is so heartbreaking. 

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After dinner, Max meets with Uncle Bertie (Lea Robinson). Max doubts herself, wondering if Toni’s right. Perhaps she’s making everything harder on herself. However, Bertie reminds his niece that following your dreams is hard. It’s not supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine. 

Bertie writes down his contact in South Dakota that he hopes Max will seek out. He also makes a list of bars for Max and Esther. I love Bertie with all my heart. What a sweet soul. On another note, Max’s jumpsuit is super cute. 

It’s Not Contagious!

Meanwhile, Carson enters her room to find Shirley living life on the edge — she’s consuming canned food, for starters. Then, she kisses Carson. After the said kiss, Shirley realizes she’s still straight. You mean to tell me The Gay™ isn’t contagious? Praise the Lord! (Please note the sarcasm here.) Here’s hoping this opens Shirley’s mind. Reject the homophobia, girl! 

Edgar and Toni Chapman stand on a porch while smiling on A League of Their Own Season 1 Episode 8 "Perfect Game."

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — Alex Désert as Edgar and Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Toni — Season 1 Episode 8, “Perfect Game.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Later, our Rockford Peaches take on the South Bend Blue Sox for all the marbles. Let the game begin!

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Bertie pays Toni a visit at the latter’s home. Toni tells her brother she had no qualms regarding how he lived his life. She was upset because Bertie had left her alone. Bertie confesses that Toni’s voice was the most dangerous because she wanted Bertie to give up a piece of himself to blend in. He encourages Toni to listen to Max and support her. Otherwise, she’ll lose her daughter. 

Besties Bid Bon Voyage

Next, Clance and Max bid farewell before our all-star pitcher boards the bus for her first tour. Back at the game, the Peaches lose to the Blue Sox in the 8th inning. Carson pulls her team together to rally the troops. She empowers them to give it their all. They are the original Peaches lineup. This moment will never happen again. 

The Peaches kick ass and take names until Jo takes the plate. She knocks a ball out of the field, so far out that nobody can catch it. It appears the Blue Sox have it in the bag. Jo rounds the bases until she gets to Greta’s. Then, she trips, and we hear something snap. Jo cries out in pain, telling Greta that it’s her knee. The umpire informs the Blue Sox coach that Jo must cross the bases without the assistance of her team. Otherwise, they must forfeit the game. 

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Once a Peach

So, we see Greta, Carson and the Peaches gather around Jo to help her finish the bases so that the Blue Sox win. Admittedly, this moment made me tear up—a powerful testament to sisterhood and love. Once a Peach; always a Peach. 

And that’s that! The Blue Sox snag the championship title as the first winners of the league. Meanwhile, Max and the All-Stars make a pitstop at a hotel in Minnesota for the night. Esther (Andia Winslow) informs Max that they must bunk together as the only two women on the team. Oh, and there’s only one bed. Some fun will be had!

Max Chapman standing in front of the Rockford Tool & Screw Factory while wearing a baseball uniform on A League of Their Own Season 1 Episode 8 "Perfect Game."

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN — Chanté Adams as Max Chapman — Season 1 Episode 8, “Perfect Game.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Max calls Clance to get an update on the new roommate situation. While on the phone, the coach hands Max her official uniform. When the call ends, we learn Clance is pregnant, even though she withheld the news from Max. Toni sits with Clance in the kitchen and vows to support Clance on this journey every step. I’d want Toni in my corner. 

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An Invitation/A Goodbye/A Discovery

Later, the Peaches celebrate the end of a momentous, groundbreaking, history-making first season. Even good ole Bev imbibes with them. 

Greta proposes the idea of Carson joining her in New York. Carson isn’t sure how this will work, but Greta’s train leaves in the morning, and she hopes Carson will be on it with her. The following day, we see Max emerge from her hotel room while in her uniform, and, folks, it’s very satisfying. Look at her on top of the world!

Everyone prepares to depart at the Peaches’ house. Carson spots Greta preparing to take a taxi to the train station, but, unfortunately, Maybelle impedes Carson’s path to her. Thankfully, Carson catches Greta just in time. She pulls Greta aside for a lengthy, passionate kiss. Carson informs Greta she can’t go to NYC with her. No! 

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However, Carson’s not rejecting Greta’s offer because she’s returning to Charlie. Carson plans to leave Charlie and start anew. She thanks Greta for changing her life, while Greta reveals Carson opened her up again. I’m not crying; you’re crying. They plan to see each other for next season. 

Unfortunately, Charlie seemed to overhear everything. He stands on the porch behind Carson, gobsmacked while holding a bouquet. Uh-oh. Big uh-oh. 

“Perfect Game” is perfect as an exciting season finale (I hope we get Season 2!). I’m curious to see how some time away affects the bond between Carson and Greta. Will she leave Charlie, or will he convince her to stay with him despite what he saw? Will Max enjoy touring with the All-Stars? How many of the original Peaches will return for another season? I have countless questions and approximately zero answers. 

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Overall, Season 1 of A League of Their Own is an endlessly hopeful, starry-eyed and bushy-tailed adventure brimming with punchy performances and so much heart. It doesn’t shy away from the truths of the time and the blatant discrimination against marginalized communities. However, it also provides a silver lining, with unabashed, heartwarming displays of love and queerness aplenty. 

It’s love personified, with a smattering of baseball to boot. These characters are some of my favorites on TV (with Max swiftly stealing my heart), and the writers do an excellent job crafting nuanced, intriguing and powerful characters. Of course, the actors help tremendously in that department too. 

Everyone gives it their all. I might have to watch this show again. And again. And again. Rockford Peaches for life. 

A League of Their Own Season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video

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